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Westminster Early Support Service

Early Support is a way of working underpinned by 10 principles that aim to improve the delivery of services for disabled children, young people and their families. It enables services to coordinate their activity better and provide families with a single point of contact and continuity through Key Working.

Early Support ensures that service delivery is child and family centred. It focuses on enabling services and practitioners to work in partnership with children and their families.

The Early Support Service in Westminster offers key working support to families caring for a child aged 0 to 5 years who has a disability or complex health needs.

Key workers:

a) Work in collaboration with children and young people with disabilities and/or complex health needs and their families to ensure that all support is family-centred

b) Co-ordinate provision of and communication between services and ensure families are fully aware of who is involved, for what purpose and when.

c) Provide a single point of contact responsible for providing of information and facilitate access to services and support at the appropriate time.

d) Maximise early intervention, proactive practical and emotional support and provision of coherent packages of services.

e) Empower parents/carers to feel and become more involved in and in control of achieving positive outcomes for their child with a disability and/or complex needs, themselves and their family.

The aim of the Early Support Service is to ensure a consistent approach in working with parents to be and parents with children 0 – 5 years, according to shared set of key principles. These are:

  • co-ordinate, streamline and add value to existing services for children with disabilities
  • involve parents, grandparents and other carers in ways that build on their existing strengths;
  • ensure lasting support by linking activities to services for older children;
  • be culturally appropriate and sensitive to particular needs.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Azniv Driscoll
 020 8968 2690

Where to go

Rainbow Family Centre, The Westminster Society for People with Learning Disabilities
Bravington Road
W9 3AB

Buses 6, 18 414

Other Details


Age Ranges
0 - 5 years

Local Offer

Local Offer Record `
Who is this service available to?

Early Support Service is available to families who have a child under age of 5 with complex disability (children identified by Child Development Service on Nurturing, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Social Communication Pathways). Support is offered for limited time, between 6 months and a year and a half, pending on individual circumstances and complexities of child’s condition.

The service support families with management of appointments, access to mainstream services and better coordination of care package. Parents are active partners, involved in decisions that impact on their children and them. They are involved in setting priorities for their child’s needs through Family Support Planning meetings. This is a meeting when the care package is agreed, reviewed and monitored.

How do you access this service?

This is a specialist service available to families whose child has complex additional needs and involvement of a large number of different professionals ranging from specialist Health Visitors to Occupational Health, Speech and Language Therapist, Educational Psychologists and Paediatricians.

A child is usually referred, with family consent, to Early Support by a medical professional e.g. paediatrician, specialist health visitor or therapist who works in Child Development Service. The Professional, with the family, fills in a referral form called CAF (Common Assessment Form) and discusses family’s needs and expectations of this service with the family. Once we receive a referral, our Key Worker will arrange a home visit and assess child’s/family needs. They will set up a plan of how it is best to address the needs identified. They will notify other professionals of their involvement and will coordinate future support with family agreement. They will organise a Family Support Planning meeting where parents and professionals together talk about an action plan of the best way to support the child and family. The Plan will clearly identify who will lead on specific elements of work and a time frame to achieve a progress. Family will have a chance to contact Key Worker whenever they feel they need support and the Key Worker will regularly update the family regarding work other professionals do.

How do we ensure the quality of this service?

The Early Support Service provides quarterly reports about service and if they meet Key Performance Indicators identified. This report is presented to Commissioners and comprises of statistical data about the number of families supported by us and a case study that demonstrates work we do with families. Families are asked to give consent for case studies (always presented anonymously).

Once a year, we ask all families that we supported during the year to fill in a yearly survey and give us their views about the service including any suggestions on how service could improve. At the same time, we send survey to professionals that work with us closely and ask for their views about services and suggestions of how we can provide service that is fit for purpose.

We continuously ask families that we support to give comments about their experience with a service and are willing to listen to the views expressed by families.

When we close an Early Support case, we ask family to tell us how we have supported them to move on, what we have achieved while working with them and if they feel better equipped to deal with complex family circumstance as a result of support they received.

Throughout the year, we collate informal feedback from families and professionals. These are used in addition to formal survey to help us improve service.

Local Offer Age Bands
Early Years (0-4 years)
SEN Provision Type
Last Updated 11/09/2019

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